Competitors are readying themselves – discussing the merits of one headtorch over another, comparing photos from previous years' races, pondering over the best shoes for the trails, deciding on the last minute training runs, checking the weather for the weekend and of course not forgetting the mental preparations.
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But it's the race preparations that are go go go at the moment. Catering for 1,000 ultra runners is no mean feat, especially in the Lake District with its narrow roads, no mobile phone signal and notoriously unpredictable weather.
150 people in total are helping to organise this iconic race, with 60 people to help at the race HQ in Coniston and 90 people spread over the 14 checkpoints. Two truckloads of food is on order (including an order for £1,000 worth of jelly babies), along with approximately 5,000 litres of water for drinking and cooking as many of the checkpoints don't have running water.
Where there are no buildings available for checkpoint use, the organisers must arrange for marquees or tents, along with other practical features such as portaloos, generators, hot water urns, gas cookers, petrol and cans and of course, communications links in the form of satellite phones.
And of course, we mustn't forget the logistics and transport. Organisers must grapple with those picturesque but tortuously twisty and often single-width Lake District roads. Competitors and kit will be transported around the race route, meaning that minibuses, vans and coaches (and their drivers) have to be scheduled over the course of three days.
For all 1,000 brave competitors, there are also race t-shirts, medals, roadbooks, maps and so on to arrange.
Finally, the icing on the top of the Montane Lakeland 100 and 50 cake is a charitable association with Fix The Fells: “We want to help preserve the wonderful Lake District environment year round, not just for the race competitors. Last year we raised between £4,500 - £5,000 for Fix The Fells through the 2011 MONTANE® Lakeland 100 / 50. This year we are again supporting this worthy cause, but with a target of £10,000”, said race organiser, Marc Laithwaite.
The team at Montane would like to wish all competitors, volunteers, marshalls and organisers good luck and hopes to see everyone at the Kentmere checkpoint for our famed fruit smoothies.
The Kentmere checkpoint at the 2011 MONTANE® Lakeland 100 and 50
Montane, Jul 2012
2011's race trophy
Montane, Jul 2012
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